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How to use SORT_IN_TEMPDB to increase your index rebuild performance

21 May,2021 by Tom Collins

Question:There is a SORT_IN_TEMPDB option for SQL Server index create and rebuilds . Is it possible to exploit this option to improve the SQL Server index rebuild performance?

Answer: The short answer is - yes , but it depends on how you manage the storage layout of your database files. 

Using SORT_IN_TEMPDB means that SQL server will use the Tempdb database to allocate the temporary results space for the index rebuild , as opposed to allocating space in the user database whose index is being rebuild.

This means you will need less free space in your user database during an index rebuild operation and more free space in tempdb.

If you want to exploit this index rebuild option - one of the tactics is to use a different disk set or IO path for the tempdb database . Different for the disk set used by user database. 

Clearly - if you are already experiencing performance issues on the user database , and the tempdb is on the same set of disks - than you could be compounding the issue.  Although you are saving space on the user database - you will need the extra space allocated on the tempb


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